FAMILIES across the Riverina are turning to ‘backdoor babysitting’ in a bid to avoid the increasing costs of childcare.
More than 30 educators, childcare operators and
parents met with Member for Farrer Sussan Ley, the opposition spokeswoman for childcare and early childhood learning, in Wagga yesterday to discuss how the introduction of the National Quality Framework was impacting the delivery of childcare services.
The meeting was the first in a series of regional childcare forums.
Ms Ley said it was interesting to hear how the concerns of regional childcare providers differed to those in city regions, adding that most educators were keen to share how the increased amount of paperwork and administration – introduced as part of the National Quality Framework – was taking away from the care of children.
“One example – a centre has now provided a full-time administrator because of the new regulations, where once that person was on the floor and playing with children,” she said.
“We also heard that in some instances parents are unable to afford the childcare.
“That’s putting pressure on grandparents and backyard childcare.
“They are concerning because that is added stress and income stress on families.”
Ms Ley said for towns such as Temora, where there is only one long day care centre and parents don’t have a lot of options, the National Quality Framework had to better reflect its needs.
While the opinions among the forum participants
varied, Wagga Regional Daycare education family officer Katie Burkinshaw said some of the changes introduced as part of the National Quality Framework had helped streamline the administration for the 70 educators who operated from home under the Wagga Regional Daycare banner.
Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said the recent changes, as to how educators received and updated their qualifications, was also a point of discussion.